Speaker of the House of Representatives, Mr. Yakubu Dogara has stressed the need for Nigeria to key into democratic changes taking place across the world.
This is to serve her citizens better, secure their liberties, provide the needed protection and secure prosperity.
Speaking when he received a delegation from Save Democracy Africa Group, led by Sen. Jonathan Zwingina, in his office, the speaker said Nigeria must join in the experiment aimed at improving the practice of democracy in order to deepen and protect it.
The Speaker also accepted the invitation by the Save Democracy Africa to formally chair its 3rd poltical summit which will take place in Abuja later in the year.
Mr. Dogara also noted that whoever initiates change, dominates in any field; whether in science and technology, agriculture or any field of human endeavour and the reason why Nigeria doesn’t dominate and has always been dominated is because “we have not been able to initiate change.”
“Even if certain principles of democracy were normal before, in this age of new normal, you have people questioning it. So, in other words, this is an age of experimentation; we want to experiment with everything, even democracy, people are experimenting with democracy and the ultimate evidence is the rise of the far right in Europe. Even the home of presidential democracy in the world is not normal anymore, it won’t be charitable for me to run commentaries on what is going on in a friendly country but the truth is that we know that even democracy is taking a knock.
Democracy is just an idea that must be defended and when you lose those that will defend democracy, before long, democracy will become a casualty and that is the work you do, and even if you are not appreciated, promoting democracy is a work that we all must do.” Mr. Dogara stressed.
He commended the group for the non-partisan work they are doing to preserve the entire democratic experience and preventing democracy from suffering grave dangers.
“Partisan considerations do not matter and we are all working together as one in preserving the very fundamental ideas of democracy, of representative governance practice in Nigeria, in looking at our experience now and how we can better it and that gives me hope that we will continue to maintain our lead in Africa,” he added.
Mr. Dogara also maintained that the legislature is the first institution of democracy, saying, “You can have any form of government but if that government does not consist of an independent legislature, then you don’t have a democracy, even if you call it, like most countries of the world will want to tag their governments, whether they are authoritarian, they call it Democratic Republic of so, so and so.”
Senator Zwingina commended the Speaker for his consistent advocacy for enthronement of democracy, rule of law and human right in Nigeria.
He said Speaker Dogara’s exemplary and sterling leadership qualities has helped in bringing about the much needed stability in the House of Representatives and that it was based on these accomplishment that the group endorsed him to chair the 3rd political summit.